Business Managers Report
BC BCA Reconstitution and Bargaining To Start Early in the New Year
Hopefully by now all members have been made aware that the BCA, through many lobbying efforts and discussions over the last year or so, made the decision to reconstitute as a Contractor Association in British Columbia. They have re-engaged all prior contractors that had moved to the CLRA when the decision to dissolve was initially made, and almost all of the contractors made the choice to move back to the BCA. We have been working with the BC BCA throughout this process and expect that with most, if not all, of the legal aspects being finalized we will commence the long awaited bargaining process of our expired BCA Collective Agreement early in 2022. We are confident that both parties are looking forward to a renewed relationship that will create new opportunities for the Boilermakers of Lodge 359 and the contractors.
We will keep the membership apprised of when we will begin bargaining as soon as we finalize the process with the new BC BCA.
Negotiating the Existing BCA Agreement with the Remaining Contractors Staying at CLRA
While we mentioned that most of the contractors have made the decision to transition back to the BCA, we know of at least two contractors that have elected to remain with the CLRA. They will be represented by the CLRA for the bargaining process of the same expired BCA agreement. The CLRA has filed a last effort appeal with the BC Labour Board in an attempt to force the bargaining of this agreement into the protocol structure that the BCBCBTU/CLRA agreements are legislated to adhere. While we are confident that this last effort appeal will produce the same unfavorable results for the CLRA as every application that they’ve made, we are waiting on the final decision before we can commence the bargaining of the BCA agreement for the two remaining contractors, with the CLRA as their representative. It has been a very long and emotional process that is nearly over, and I thank every member for their patience and professionalism throughout all of it.
Mandatory Vaccine Policies of Clients and Job Sites
This topic has created more frustration and controversy for everyone that has had to experience, or be a part of in any way, than all of us could ever imagine. The rules and legislative mandates that have constantly changed for everyone has been difficult enough to navigate, and having another policy that creates so much uncertainty is the last thing any of us could want. The Boilermakers and the Bargaining Council Unions have worked tirelessly to find solutions and legal advice in an attempt to find an amicable way to navigate this issue that can be communicated efficiently to everyone it affects. Unfortunately, the result is that third party policies implemented by owners on their own job sites appear nearly impossible to have any sort of legal stance or say on, and we find the challenges becoming even more difficult as they become adopted throughout the Province. With it becoming highly unlikely to result in any form of success with legal applications brought against these third party policies, we will ensure all other aspects of our agreements are followed and adhered to. We will be continuing to work with our affiliates and legal teams to search for alternatives to this dilemma.
Currently Engaged in Establishing the Protocol for CLRA/BCBCBTU Bargaining
The next round of bargaining with the CLRA/BCBCBTU (BC Bargaining Council of Building Trades Unions) is approaching quickly. The BCBCBTU has been engaged with its legal counsel developing a protocol that we will look to have approved by the Labour Relations Board for the next round of bargaining. The goal is to ensure that no member Union can be forced to experience a conclusion to bargaining as we did in the last round, with the Union’s rights to a ratification vote stripped from them. With discussions coming early in January with the chair of the LRB, the CLRA, and subcommittee of the BCBCBTU, we hope to have this protocol in place as soon as possible. The council has spent a great deal of time with legal counsel in an attempt to ensure the legislated protocol that will govern the next round of bargaining will be fair and understood, so that the affiliates will not be forced to endure another round of unfair and dishonest bargaining as we have seen in past bargaining. More to come regarding this topic.
The CLRA/BCBCBTU agreement is set to expire in 2023, and with the sunset clause regarding the overtime on Saturdays also set to expire, the BCBCBTU is confident that every member that lost their double time on Saturdays will see it reinstated at the expiration of the current CLRA agreement.
Drug Testing Policies that are Governing Job Sites
The drug testing policy that governs all of our contractors and job sites in BC, other than the LNG Canada project, is the Construction Industry of British Columbia Substance abuse testing and treatment program policy which can be viewed by clicking here.
I encourage every member to find the time to familiarize yourselves with the policy, and remind all of you that should you be on a job site and find yourselves subjected to any form of request for testing, and if unsure about your rights, talk with your Stewards or call the Union to ask for guidance. It has become more common place for these situations to occur, and while we respect the policy and the principal behind it, we will not tolerate any unreasonable or arbitrary application by our employers that constitute an invasion of a person’s right to privacy and dignity, and we will grieve every single instance should this occur. I sit as a Director on the policies board and will work diligently to ensure that every contractor apply the terms of the policy as they were intended to be.
Currently at one of our job sites we have an ongoing issue with an egregious application of drug testing policies, and to date the Union has grieved nearly every single application against its members with great success. This invasive application of the policy against the membership will not be tolerated. We are currently working with both the contractor and the Government to try and find a resolution to this issue that doesn’t see our members being subjected to privacy breaches, amongst other things. We will continue to grieve every application until this situation is properly rectified. Again, any member finding themselves in a situation where they are unsure about their rights should immediately find the Steward on the job and/or call the Union before agreeing to anything they may be unsure of.
With so many projects ongoing and the exhaustive measures that are forever changing with COVID-19 policies, it has made travelling to job sites more difficult than in years prior. Going into the New Year we are planning to schedule more site visits, and for those longer term projects we will try for a minimum of quarterly. We will be looking to establish dates in the New Year so that we can coordinate with the sites as early as possible to ensure that we are not met with restrictions for site access, as has been the case on some projects this year.
Enjoy the holidays, and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years to everyone.
Brother Jordan Streng
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer
Executive Board and Lodge 359 Shops
Children’s Christmas Party
We are disappointed to announce that the Lodge 359 Children’s Christmas Party will not take place this year. It’s really unfortunate but after lengthy discussions, we feel that although it could be done safely with the proper protocols in place, it would not meet the expectations that we have met in years past.
The Executive Board has continued to hold its monthly meetings to conduct the business of the Union, however the same cannot be said for the monthly General Membership meetings. Due to the lack of meeting quorum requirements, we have been unable to hold a monthly General Meeting in quite some time. We understand that it’s been a busy work year, along with the complications surrounding COVID-19, however we would like to remind our members that we have the ability to conduct meetings safely with COVID protocols in place, and the restrictions and guidelines being followed. We will continue to request that members who are interested in attending the monthly meeting phone the general office in the days prior and put their name on the meeting list. Our next monthly General Membership meeting is scheduled for January 5th, 2022.
On behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to wish all of our brothers and sisters a safe and happy holiday season.
We are excited to announce that Boilermakers Lodge 359 have renewed collective agreements with two of our largest shops, BM&M Screening Solutions and Peerless Limited. We look forward to continuing our relationship with both of these employers which have a long history with Lodge 359, and that both will continue to employ our members for years to come.
Brother Jeremy Kwok
Business Representative and President
2021 has been an extremely busy year. With two projects at LNG Canada, two projects at Site C, Horton CBI at Burnaby Mountain, and then add in and all the regularly scheduled shutdowns, anyone wishing to work had plenty of opportunity. However, this year came with many challenges for our membership. First off I would like to thank all the Brothers and Sisters for the incredible job they have done under some very stressful circumstances. The membership battled long shifts, tight schedules, extreme temperatures, and COVID-19. Then add the loss of some of our own way to early, it was very challenging.
We do not have any remaining scheduled shutdowns for this year. We will continue to dispatch emergencies as they happen.
In the New Year, the long term new construction jobs will continue to hire Boilermakers as the work scope grows. Horton CBI in Burnaby are continuing to place orders as they still have not hit their peak numbers. There will be more orders for Lorneville Mechanical and Fluor Construction at the LNG Canada plant in Kitimat. Groupe LAR and Voith Hydro at Site C will be hiring in the new the year also, as their work scope dictates.
Job Ready Dispatch (JRD) is mandatory for dispatch. All members from the ranks of General Foreman and down must have all JRD tickets to be eligible for dispatch. If you cannot get a session booked at an approved safety provider for Fall Arrest or Confined Space, the parties have temporarily agreed to allow you to obtain online certifications shown at the links below.
Confined Space: Click Here
Fall Arrest: Click Here
Training facilities are now offering Quantitative fit tests. Those Members with expired fit tests must re-certify their tickets. For a complete list of facilities please visit our training page by clicking here.
Here are a few housekeeping items I would like to remind the members of:
- Update both your Beneficiary Cards, at the Union and at BG Benefits.
- Make sure we have your correct phone number, email and address on file.
- Send in any welding or safety tickets / certifications that you have so we can update your file and keep a copy on record in case you lose your ticket.
In closing, I would like give a big thanks to all the 359 Membership and Travel Cards from all over Canada for the work they have done and continue to perform. We currently have over 100 Travel Cards from all across Canada working in our Province. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2022 bring this membership loads of success and happiness.
Brother Sat Chatta
Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement
Boilermaker Foundations – BCIT Satellite Campus
The second Boilermaker foundation class graduated in October at the Boilermaker Training Centre. They were all out to work by the following Monday.
There is currently a Boilermaker Foundation course that started November 15th, and there is another Foundation course scheduled for March of 2022. There are still spots open, so if you know someone that may be interested contact BCIT or give the coordinator a call.
The letters were sent out for the Level 02 and Level 03 and Level 04 upgrades in Jan 2022:
Boilermaker Apprentice – LV2 – Jan 10 – Feb 11 from 07:00 – 1:30 – Active w/ 16 seats
Boilermaker Apprentice – LV3 – Feb 22 – Mar 25 from 07:00 – 1:30 – Active w/ 16 seats
Boilermaker Apprentice-LV4 – Jan. 24 – Feb. 4th form 8:00 – 4:30 – Active w/16 seats and writing the Red Seal on Feb. 4th.
The Boilermaker Lodge 359 Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Committee (ATAC) is planning an expansion to the Joe Kiwior-Ivan Shook Training Centre, which will include a second classroom and further upgrades to the training facilities.
ATAC is pleased to announce that the Union will be reimbursing the tuition for the Boilermaker Foundation courses scheduled at BCIT for 2022. Tuition will only be reimbursed to those who successfully complete the Boilermaker Foundation course. It is important to note that this reimbursement offer is only available for new apprentices attending the Foundation course. Please contact the Coordinator at 778-369-3590 for more information.
We are currently recruiting Pre-Apprentices for the Boilermaker Apprenticeship program. Pre-Apprentices must be registered for the Foundation program at BCIT and be recommended by members, they must also have the job ready dispatch requirements. For more information on Pre-Apprentice opportunities contact the Coordinator.
The Boilermakers Lodge 359 Canadian Top Apprentice for 2021 is awarded to Brother Matthew Perrin. Due to the prolonged duration and impact of COVID-19, it was decided by the National Training Trust Fund Trustees to hold a virtual event to recognize the 2021 Apprentices. There was a one hour event held in August. Holding this type of event will allow greater opportunity to include more stakeholders, family, friends and Members. Hopefully bringing an even wider recognition to our apprentices and their accomplishments.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s.
Brother Gord Weel
Apprenticeship and Training Coordinator
BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Hydro Dam Project
The photos in this article, and many more, are available to the public for viewing through the following link, please click here.
Penstock Unit #4 is the last of the six penstock units to be constructed. Photo from August 2021.
Penstock with Contractor Groupe Lar
With the Christmas break soon approaching here is a review of the penstock progress for 2021 and looking into 2022.
Five of the six penstocks have been completed, with the last one being Unit #4 which includes nine mid-sections left to install for a total of eighty-four sections as well as six installed transition pieces altogether. With complex rigging, precise fit up and exceptional welding with less than 1% repair rates after X-ray on 1-1/4” thick steel, it is truly a testament to the skills and ability of our Boilermaker trade. With each of the sections weighing over 100,000 lbs and 100 feet of multi pass lineal welding that included both robotic and hand welding.
As this scope of work is winding down for its completion in the later part of 2022, there will be a soft start in the New Year as the 400 ton tower crane is dismantled to complete the path of Unit #4. There is also two painting platforms that will need to be maintained and also re-built for the coupler installations and testing.
Installation of spiral case segments on Unit #3 in the powerhouse. Photo from August 2021.
Powerhouse Installation of Turbine & Generators with Contractor Voith Hydro:
The installation of the Turbines and Generators in the Powerhouse are currently in the stage were the Scroll Case Units #1 & #2 have passed the initial hydro testing and awaiting the final hydro completion stage. Unit #3 – 80% complete, Unit #4 – 50% of components completed and Units #5 and #6 have the stay ring, draft tube and transition cones installed. The skill of the Boilermakers are constantly challenged, having to adapt the rigging to asymmetrical pieces and the constantly changing fit-up of the steel scroll sections that vary from 5/8 “ to over 1” thick. The welding of these narrowing sections continuously improve with an average repair rate of 2% after X-ray, that includes both robotic and hand welding, with the implementation of the Gullco automated process in the New Year. The scope of work for the Boilermakers will wind down by the end of 2022, with work on commissioning and some composite crew work continuing well into 2023.
The Union would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to members who have participated in this project. With the known scope of work, the ever changing environment and site conditions, always keeping safety top of mind, and the unfortunate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic measures implemented on these large scale projects, it has been extremely challenging for all involved.
This has been an opportunity to showcase to BC Hydro and the contractors what we already know, that the Boilermakers rigging, fitting, and welding of these steel components and the professionalism that comes with the trade is unrivaled.
Please take the time to enjoy the Christmas break, ensuring your safe return to this project.
Brother Dave French
LNG Canada Kitimat
We currently have about 130 members, apprentices, and travel cards working at the LNG Canada Kitimat project. The tank itself is being built by Lorneville Mechanical, and it is the largest LNG Tank in the northern hemisphere.
Fluor Constructors have begun hiring Boilermakers to construct the remaining portions of the terminal that involve Boilermakers. This job will also continue throughout 2022.
Horton CBI Burnaby Mountain Tanks
Horton CBI currently have over 150 Boilermaker members, apprentices, and travel cards working on 14 new tanks on Burnaby Mountain. This job is expected to last throughout 2022, and LOA is being offered for those from out of town. You can contact the dispatcher between 1 and 3 daily (if dispatch is not taking place) to find out the details on hiring schedules and the travel and LOA being offered.
General Office Update
It’s been a frustrating year for our membership, and for the office staff also. Our #1 goal is to keep the office open and a safe place to come to work, and therefore keep the membership working and our contractors supplied with the workforce they need. Despite constantly moving goalposts by COVID-19 and workplace guidelines, we have remained open and regular dispatch continues. This is a tribute to the staff being flexible and accommodating when we need it most.
There have been many instances this past year of our own members berating and threatening staff in the office. The admin staff in particular should not have to bear the brunt of a member’s anger and frustration, and just like we expect in the field they have a right to come to work every day to a safe workplace. We have had to implement some security in the office to ensure that the staff feel safe to come to work every day, and that is unfortunate. Please remember that all the staff are here working to ensure that our members have the best possible service and representation.
We are always challenged with keeping our IT systems safe and running smoothly. The costs for this are always increasing as technology advances, along with the threats. The attempts to introduce malware and ransomware into our system continue on a daily basis, and we want to remind everyone that this is happening everywhere out there, especially since COVID-19. We remind you to educate yourselves on internet safety and security, and in particular to have strong passwords as well as different passwords for your accounts, in particular for our MemberLink accounts.
We were looking forward to our annual Christmas Union Meeting this year, but unfortunately the provincial guidelines would have prevented many members from attending. The 2021 Pensioners Banquet and the Golf Tournament were also cancelled due to COVID-19 and the Provincial Health Orders. We have re-booked everything for 2022 and look forward to holding these events as they are missed by everyone.
We also want to pass along our sympathies to those Sisters and Brothers that we lost this year, including many that left us before their time. Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of all of them at this time of year, and we have included them below.
On behalf of all the staff in the office, including our admin staff of Laura, Wanda, Jamie, and Yanic we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Brother Rob Kappel
Assistant Business Manager
And so we chant the sweet refrain, goodbye, til morning comes again.
In loving memory of our Brothers and Sisters that have gone before us.
Goodbye, ‘til morning comes again; we part, but not in hopeless pain.
The night is short, and hope is sweet, it fills our hearts and speeds our feet.
And so we chant the sweet refrain, goodbye, ‘til morning comes again.
Arthur Lebel, Andrew Gustitus, William Kehler, James LeGreeley, James Olver, John Peitz, Ivan Anderson, Keith Power, Edward (Ed) Jackson, Gheorghe (George) Serban, Erik Stenerud, Randy Bedard, Moe Barber, Reginald Beaubien, Lionel Jubinville, Chad Kibermanis, William Young, Thomas Ellis, Nick Ciocea, Gordon Brundige, Irene Bjerky, Morris Sydor, Crystal Humphrey-Nutter.